I remember when I was growing up, my daddy would ask before a meal, “Who wants to offer grace?” Isn’t that a lovely phrase? Offering grace. Yeah, that has a nice ring to it. For the month of January I thought that we’d talk about different ways we can offer ourselves grace.
“What gives me the most hope every day is God’s grace; knowing that his grace is going to give me the strength for whatever I face, knowing that nothing is a surprise to God.” ~Rick Warren
Isn’t that an awesome quote? “HIS grace is going to give me strength.” Wow. That’s powerful stuff. So I don’t have to try to be strong. I don’t have to dig deep and find the strength somewhere in myself, because HIS grace is going to give me the strength I need.
WOW! So let’s share. What do you need HIS GRACE for today? Personally, I’m under this mountain of writing deadlines, which is awesome–as long as I don’t think about it too hard. If I think about it, I might freeze, like a deer caught in a car’s headlights. If I dwell on it, I might start feeling tired. But I don’t have to worry about all of that, because I can depend … you guessed it … on His grace.
Can I get a witness? That’s what I’m looking for this week. Witnesses of grace. We are well into our 52 weeks of grace. We’ve talked about:
And now, I want to talk about being saved by grace. This is one of the most fundamental beliefs of a Christian–that we are saved by grace. As Paul says in the book of Ephesians,
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—Ephesians 2:8
Wow. I remember when I was a young child of 10 and first began to understand what those words meant. As I struggled through my teenage and young adult years, I often came back to this truth. Changing careers, guiding our children into adulthood, dealing with illnesses and death and trying times. Celebrating and laughing and crying tears of joy. Whether good times or bad, I could always fall on this truth. It wasn’t what I did or didn’t do. It wasn’t my failures or triumphs. I was saved by grace, and that was a gift from God.
What about you? Can I get a witness?
This is our 4th week to talk about GRACE and what it means in our lives. You would think after 4 weeks that we would be out of things to say … nope. There’s more.
Hebrews 4:16 says
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Wow! Little old you and me … we’re able to approach the throne of God WITH CONFIDENCE. And why do we do it? So that we can receive mercy and find grace.
I’d say that’s definitely something to celebrate. Don’t you agree?
We’re halfway through the first month of 2016. How are you feeling about that? Were your first two weeks filled with grace? Anyone want a do-over? Yeah. Sometimes things don’t go quite as I plan, so I know what you mean. But we will press forward with hope and our hearts filled with grace.
Today I wanted to talk to you about being sanctified by grace. Those are some big words. I had to look them up. Sanctified simply means “made holy.” So we are made holy, we are set apart, by the grace of God. Wow.
I don’t always feel holy. Yesterday I was cleaning the bathroom, and I felt kinda grimy and tired. When I had a migraine on Monday, I just felt sick and dark and blue. But today the sun is shining, the weather is pleasant, and things are going well. It’s easier to believe that I might be made holy by the grace of God. The cool thing though is that it doesn’t matter if I’m having a good day or a crummy one–the fact of God’s grace remains.
Paul wrote, “we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Hebrews 10:10)
This coming week, if you have a down moment, I hope that you will remember you are made holy and you are set aside. I hope you will rest in His grace.
How was your first week of 2016? Did you find yourself thinking about GRACE and what it means to you personally? I loved your comments below, and want to thank everyone who has “followed” the blog. I have a feeling this is going to be a very supportive group.
Have you ever thought about GRACE being a virtue? I think of virtues as being things like goodness, integrity, honor, purity. All fabulous things to strive for. But GRACE can also be a virtue given to you by God. WOW! We all know that some people are naturally patient. Others are honest–they don’t seem to possess the ability to tell a lie. Wouldn’t you agree that everyone is blessed with certain virtues? But who has them all? We’re not perfect, so I guess no one does.
What we can be absolutely certain of is that we’re all blessed with the virtue of GRACE. This site says that GRACE is
“a special virtue, gift, or help given to a person by God.”
Paul confirms this when he writes in Romans 12:6, “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.” Yes, we have different gifts, but we all have the GRACE of God within us, flowing over us, coloring each moment of our lives.
So the next time you look in the mirror and wish you were taller, or had curly hair, or simply that you possessed more patience to get through your day, remember … you have the virtue of GRACE.
How do you feel about new years? I am very much an optimist. I am sure that this is the year I will lead a more peaceful life, lose twenty pounds, get my priorities in order, and even have a clean house!
Which started me thinking. What would be the one thing I could do that would affect everything? If God were to whisper a new year’s resolution or goal into my ear, what would it be? If God were to pick my “word,” what word would he have me focus on?
I’ve decided to focus this year on GRACE. The grace of God is mentioned 123 times in the New Testament and 8 times in the Old Testament (NIV). That’s a lot of times! What does it even mean? What do you think of when you think of God’s grace?
Grace–the free and unmerited favor of God
I think there are probably a lot of definitions, and maybe they’re all right to some degree. If we looked at the one above, if we believe it to be true, how would that change our life?
1) It’s FREE
2) It’s Unmerited (we can’t earn it)
3) Favor of God–His delight! You can read more about that by clicking here.
It’s kind of exciting if you think about it. And if we spent a whole year focusing on THAT? It’s difficult to imagine how our lives would change. So what do you think? Are you ready for a year of GRACE? I am, and I’m hoping that you will join me–because in today’s world? We can all use more grace.
ps – You don’t want to miss a single week of 52 Weeks of Grace, so be sure you are signed up to receive this blog. Use the Blog Notifications box to the right. Simply enter your email address.
Have you ever wondered how to live in grace? How to show God’s grace to your family, your co-workers, even yourself? How to accept and rest in His grace?
If you have, join us in 2016. There is a “sign up to receive blog notifications” box to the right. Simply type in your email address, and you’ll receive the blog once a week. If you’re already signed up, share this post with a friend. We could all do with a little more joy and peace in our lives in the coming year.
Each Friday we’ll explore a different way to color your life with the abundant grace of our Heavenly Father. 52 simple steps to a life of grace. I’m looking forward to seeing you here.
I hope you’ve enjoyed our street team highlights this year. Today I want to introduce you to Gail H.
Gail H., 2015 Street Team member
1. What is one food item you cannot live without on Thanksgiving? I’m not a traditional Thanksgiving Gal. We are actually camping this week. I love most food and have even had Thanksgiving on another day. But I do love turkey.
2. What are the top 3 things you are thankful for? I’m thankful for my salvation, my family and after having had cancer, I’m thankful for each day the Lord allows me to wake up.
3. Do you prefer ham or turkey? Turkey!
4. Have you started Christmas shopping? I start shopping in January and when I see something on sale I think someone on my list would like I buy it. This year I’ve crocheted a few of my gifts and am working on some more.
Gail has been a wonderful addition to our team. In our last newsletter, we put out a call for folks interested in being on the team in 2016, and we received over 100 responses. You all are awesome! We’ll be choosing 12 street team members for 2016. Of course, anyone can support my writing journey by reading my books and leaving reviews! Thank you for all you do.
I absolutely adore this photo. It contains so many things that I love about this time of year–fall colors, pumpkins, children, haystacks, and cooler weather. Babies have a way of making me smile. They’re very “in the moment.” They’re not worried about Thanksgiving dinner or Continue reading
If you read Amish fiction, chances are that you prefer to keep things simple! Is that even possible with the Christmas season? Well, maybe. I like to think it is. One of the ways we can keep things simple is to make a few gifts. A homemade gift is a treasure. It’s something especially made with a specific person in mind. And it’s even better if you can make it from supplies you already have at home. Here’s a few things I worked on recently. Continue reading